Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Why I Will Never Be a Great Poet

I've really enjoyed the BBC series on poetry this spring, the programmes featuring Simon Armitage on Gawain and the Green Knight; Sheila Hancock on her favourite poets and most recently Cerys Matthews have all been lovely viewing, not least because they've reacquainted me with some poems I'd forgotten.

Sheila Hancock read Philip Larkin's Poem - The Mower, a beautiful sad little poem and exhortation to general niceness. Here it is:

The Mower
The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.

I too was once moved to write about a not dissimilar experience with a hedgehog. For those of you who do not remember the 'Hedgehog Blog Post' Click here to be reminded why my response to events such as these will never qualify me to be a true artist.

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